ON THE 2016-17 HOFSTRA BASKETBALL SEASON

January 1, 2017

 

 

January 1, 2017

 

Thanksgiving and Christmas is now a near distant memory.  What’s the significance?   It primarily means one thing for basketball buffs in the Nassau County area: the 2016-17 Hofstra basketball season is now in full swing.

 

Every year, at about this time, I introduce the readers to Hofstra’s men’s basketball team and start the prediction process for the season.  This year is no different – so here goes…

 

I begin with some comments about last year’s team.  There were concerns, hopes, and expectations: third year Coach Joe Mihalich was back with a team that featured Juan‘ya Green and Ameen Tanksley – the two Niagara University transfers and Brian Bernardi, plus power forward Princeton transferee Denton Koon and second year center Rokas Gustys.  So what happened?  They had a great season, winning the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association).  The CAA tournament was up for grabs and I felt they had a chance to win it and earn a berth in the NCAA tournament.  We were at the CAA tournament during March 4 -7 at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore when they ran out of gas (as I had predicted earlier) in the championship game.  Nonetheless, it was a pleasant vacation and an exciting four days.  This year’s tournament is scheduled in Charleston, S.C., and it is currently on our radar screen.

 

Three of last year’s super starting five are gone.  As a former educator, I’m always interested in the disposition of the players once they graduate.  It was tough getting straight answers this year but this is what I know at this point in time: Koon is playing somewhere in Europe, with Green and Tanksley playing (I hope) in the NBA Developmental League.

 

This year’s team?  Here is my analysis at the time of the posting of this article (December 25).  The loss of last year’s BIG three was indeed BIG – the two top scorers (including Player of the Year Green) and the power forward.  The team had a decent recruiting year.  (Note: Every team claims they had a great recruiting year, so I no longer believe these press releases.)  Notable additions include Deron Power (Hampton transfer), Eli Pemberton (freshman), Hunter Sabety (Tufts transfer), and Ty Greer (Daytona State transfer).  Notable returnees – in addition to Gustys and Bernardi – include Desure Buie (out for year), Justin Wright-Foreman, and Jamall Robinson.  Are there any concerns?  Should there be concerns?  The answer is YES.  The team is presently in a developmental stage and only time will tell to what degree they will develop and improve.  They have demonstrated an ability to score – sometime almost at will, 8but the defense is still somewhat porous.  For example, they were unable to adjust and negate St. Bonaventure’s two excellent guards during an earlier loss.  And, to compound this problem, the team continues to primarily play zone defense.  On the positive side is that Coach Mihalich is playing 8 players, so fatigue will not be a problem this season.
More on this year’s personnel.  All the noise is about freshman Eli Pemberton.  Mihalich claims he will have a super career at Hofstra.  An NBA scout told me that Pemberton’s number will be hanging from the rafters at the end of his collegiate career.  He is a great scorer but (contrary to Mihalich’s comments) is short on speed and defense–but I have been wrong many times in the past.  I believe that Hofstra’s hopes this year lie with two others.  Powers is the fastest guard I have seen in years–he is grease lightening.  What an absolute great addition to the backcourt.  Ty Greer is listed at 6’6” but I think is 6’8” tall (and growing?) with a long wingspan and tremendous leaping ability.  He’s the sleeper.  However, I have repeatedly claimed that it is great guards that get a team to a championship game, but it is great defensive guards that get you to the Promised Land; i.e., win a championship.  I’m not sure that Mihalich has someone to fill that role.  Bottom line: this may be Hofstra’s year.  Then again, it may turn out to be a rebuilding season for a host of reasons.

 

Attending Hofstra games for me still remains the best sports buy in the New York Metropolitan area; its’s even cheaper than going to the movies.  There is ample free parking, easy access in and out of the Mack Sports Complex, the concession stands are not a rip-off ($3.50 for a dog, $3.00 for a soda, etc.), and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  Did I mention that its $6 for seniors and children, and the whole exciting atmosphere is conducive to family attendance?  I don’t think this is an exaggeration, but almost every home game last year turned out to be a thriller.  It was raw excitement.  Share it with someone you care about.

 

In the meantime, my Basketball Coaching 101 book is still out in the marketplace at either amazon.com or createspace.com for $17.95.  It makes an excellent New Year’s/post-Christmas gift.  Consider buying the book – I really do need the royalty money to help subsidize my gambling habits.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

FEBRUARY 1:          On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIV

MARCH 1:                 On the Ideal Diet—That Works

 

 


ELECTION DAY 2016

October 31, 2016

 

November 1, 2016

 

JANUARY, 2009:  “…I promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.  January, 2013:  “…I promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.  So spoke Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) on those two occasions.  JANUARY 2017:  Who will utter these same words?  And, which of the two candidates, unlike Barack Hussein Obama, is more likely to honor that promise?  Interestingly, BHO also promised the electorate (twice) a transparent Administration, to abide by the rule of law, and to eliminate corruption.  How many readers feel BHO honored these promises?  And, which of the candidates is more likely to …

 

Election Day will arrive in a week.  There are two facts the voters in New York State should be aware of:  most individuals have already made up their mind as to who they will support, and (unfortunately?) their vote will not count since the liberal-leaning electorate will once again insure the Democratic candidate will win.  Despite this, I feel obligated to briefly discuss eleven points that should be of concern to the voters.

 

  1. Election Integrity. The present Administration has used the federal court system to block

and/or overturn those states attempting to strengthen and maintain election integrity.  I seem to remember problems in Philadelphia with the Black Panthers during Election Day 2008 that the Administration ignored.  I believe the election laws should be expanded to require only those demonstrating a reasonable knowledge of current affairs be allowed to vote.  I also believe Trump represents a significant danger to career politicians (and the mainstream media).  And what about the government’s bribes via all the welfare programs (phones, food, free education and healthcare, citizen eligibility, etc.).  Seems our elected officials only seem concerned with their party and the next election.  I just wish that, as recently reported, engineers and scientists have “perfected” lie detector systems.  Can you imagine the effect this would have on BHO, Hillary, Bubba, lawyers, and others of their ilk?

 

  1. Illegal Immigration. The current Administration seems more concerned about illegal immigrants and criminals than law-abiding citizens.  Letting illegal immigrants into the country hurts the economy, drives down wages for lower and middle class workers, increases homeland risks, and brings about change to our country.

 

  1. Global Warming. Scientific and engineering data/information is important.  Conclusions reached by those scientists and engineers whose career and livelihood depend on the need for a global warming to exist is just plain insane.  Approximately 80% of my colleagues in the environmental field with no axe to grind believe there is no certainty that this is a man-made problem.  In effect, it is a scam begin perpetrated by BHO, liberals, Democrats and fanatical environmentalists.  What I do believe is that good things will happen to jobs, our economy, etc., if we allow the country to move to energy independence if there is greater reliance on fossil fuels.

 

  1. I need to personalize this.  There is no need for the working class to pay the health insurance for those who refuse to work or are in the country illegally.  Our insurance rates have gone up dramatically and we are receiving less coverage.  Furthermore, talk to any small business owner and they will tell you that Obamacare is a detriment to business success.  This plan is a perfect example of what happens when governments get into the business of business-related activities.

 

  1. Safety and Security. Appease, appease, and appease, has created massive safety and security problems.  Black Lives Matter has significantly and senselessly worsened race relations.  So has BHO.  Implementing stronger gun control laws will only drive the evil-doers to bombs, chemicals, nuclear options, etc.   The Dallas Cop Massacre by a sniper resulted in BHO blaming the criminal justice system.  The confrontational conduct of blacks has created the so-called “police” problem.  And, the immigration problem and Obama’s senseless early release of hardened criminals has only exacerbated the issue.

 

  1. Government Overreach. Czars?  Executive fiat?  What’s happened to our government and constitution?  BHO has redefined the residency status of millions and negotiated arms control treaties.  It is fair to say that “the legislative authority necessarily predominates.  The other two branches of government should come to grips with this statement”.  Unfortunately, we can expect more of the same with either Trump or Hillary. I believe excessive executive action and executive fiat was simply not in the thoughts of our forefathers.  Bypassing Congress was also not in the cards.  And, ignoring the Consititution – “…the laws be forcefully executed…” – was also not in their thoughts.  Controversial executive actions have been the rule with the present Administration.  Unfortunately, there are those who are committed to changing America although it appears no change is needed.  The Constitution designed a system where conflicts could be resolved by debate(s), and where the decisions of the majority would prevail.  And, here’s something to ponder:  Why does our government have trouble finding documents, delays turning over files and information, and even refuses to turn over files?  Does the promise of transparency BHO promised come into play here?

 

  1. Economic Turnaround. It’s simple.  Unleash our fossil fuel reserves and the economy will indeed turn around.  This includes both coal and fracking.  We have it in our power to release our near unlimited fossil fuel reserves.  However, I really doubt Trump’s claims that jobs overseas will return.  One thing is for certain:   There is nothing that can beat democracy, capitalism, and free enterprise; I’m living proof of this statement since I was born and raised in the slums of New York City.   The liberal’s welfare program (starting with FDR) has successfully lured the vulnerable into a lifetime of dependency via entitlement programs, stranding them in a misery from which there is no escape.  These policies have allowed the liberals to accommodate the vulnerable at the expense of society while moving toward a government with near unlimited power.

 

  1. Foreign Policy. O’Reilly said it best: “Aggressive conduct, if allowed to grow unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”  HBO’s three words describe the foreign policy of BHO and Hillary: failure, failure, and yes, more failure.  Both are not aware of history and both can’t seem to do anything right.  They just appear to be wrong nearly every time and on nearly every issue.  Here’s my summary of their performance:  bumbling, mishandling, total incompetence, and blatent insanity.  We are the world’s last and only hope: evil exists in the world and only a benevolent superpower will be able to contain BHO’s JV team and their ilk.  These two appear willing to accept slaughter, mass graves, etc.  There will be disastrous consequences associated with American weakness.  War is hell but peace can be significantly worse.  Something for those like BHO with a Neville Chamberlain mentality to think about.

 

  1. Un-American Activities. I’m a Greek-American…and proud of it.  But I am an American first.  I love my country and am lucky to be an American.  But, many of my friends, colleagues, and relatives don’t feel as I do.  They simply do not fit into my standard of what I would describe as an American.  For me, Barack Hussein Obama is not an American.  Neither is Hillary.  Or Reid.  Or Pelosi.  Or…We do not need a change in government – what we desperately need is a change in the mentality of those elected to serve us.  We do not need Bubba and Hillary (two thoroughly rotten individuals) involved in government.  We do not need Comey – a BHO hack, running the FBI.  We do not need Lynch – another BHO hack, running the Justice Department (remember her ½ hour meeting with Bubba on a plane?).  I remember BHO describing Lynch as “tough, fair and independent” your author would describe her as “unfair, biased and another BHO stooge”.  It might help if some (if not all) of the above be required to periodically take lie detector tests.  We know for certain that BHO, Hillary and Bubba readings would be off the charts.

 

  1. The Police. For me, the only reason our great nation has not plunged into chaos and anarchy is, simply put, the police.  Unlike elected officials, democrats, and fanatical liberals, the police have stood rock solid in terms of their principles, and refused to buy in to this PC mania and liberal media insanity.  The police can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.  I’m certain a cop will never shoot me because if stopped, I will not be confrontational.  And, another thing, I won’t be carrying a gun.  Bottom line:  stop being confrontational and do not carry a gun and the shootings of blacks by cops will end.  And so, who do you think will support our last defense against anarchy?

 

  1. The Media. There is an organized conspiracy to derail Trump.  And, it’s not just the media.  It’s Hollywood, TV, radio, the Democrats, the Republicans, the White House, plus Obama, Hillary and Bubba and their accomplices, labor, fanatical feminists, the U.N., fanatical environmentalists, Black activists, academia . . . the list goes on.  It is affectively, David against Goliath, or, even better, Trump against the world.  How is this possible when over 40% of the electorate support Trump?  If it’s not a conspiracy, then what is it?  You want proof?  Just check the headlines of The New York Times on a daily basis.  Folks, our government and our country has succumbed to corruption—there’s a cesspool in Washington, D.C. and “things” are rigged; the three keystones and backbone of oversight set up by our forefathers through the media, FBI, and attorney general have disappeared.

 

If there is to be a twelfth issue, it would be labeled remaining issues and would be concerned with qualities our next leader should possess.  Here’s my eight-point list.

 

  1. Understand how to run basic business and apply economic principles in order to efficiently run the government.
  2. Have a track record of pristine personal conduct.
  3. Have a track record of pristine financial conduct.
  4. Approach the immigration issue according to law with compassion without cheating the Latino community.
  5. Understand the role of America in foreign policy.
  6. Be prepared to essentially gut the present healthcare plan and replace it with a sound, intelligent program that is cost-effective to working Americans.
  7. Put an end to this nonsense about a “war on women”.
  8. Understand the need to stop the rampant lying of manipulation and cheating that has permeated both our government and society.

 

What’s the bottom line?  I would vote for Putin or one of the Ayatollahs before voting for Hillary…voting for Hillary is simply insane.  When the Republican primary started, I had Carson on top and Trump 17th.  If there were another primary today, I would have Trump on top.   He is the man – our only hope for a return to traditional American values.  This election is about those who really DO love our country and those who DON’T.  In the final analysis, WikiLeaks proved beyond a doubt that Trump’s claims about Hillary and Bubba were true . . . and, it appears that 50% of the electorate—some of whom have IQs to match their age—plan to base their vote on hearsay comments from Trump’s past rather than their (and their loved one’s) future.  And, it is just a matter of time before everyone will realize that corruption reigns at every level of government-including the once untouchables that include the aforementioned Attorney General and the FBI.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page @ Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIV

FEBRUARY 1:          On the Ideal Diet—That Works.

 

 


ON THE OHI DAY IV

October 1, 2016

 

 

A QUESTION!  Here’s a question for those in my reading audience who consider themselves history buffs.  What was the turning point during World War II that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany?  For some, it was Churchill’s resolute stand against Hitler’s blitz of England during the early stages of the war.  For others, it was the unforgettable door-to-door battle during the successful defense of Stalingrad.  And who can forget Montgomery’s date with destiny against Rommel in North Africa at El Alamein.  But for me, there is the one event that stood above them all.  And, that’s what this short revisit to the Fall of 1940 is all about.

 

I would be remiss not to mention that, on October 28th, Greece and all Greek-Americans will celebrate the OHI Day.  “OHI” is the Greek word for an emphatic NO!  This October 28th marks the 76th anniversary of Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas’ courageous refusal to submit to Fascist Nazi Germany occupation demands of Greece during World War II.  Against far superior military power and insurmountable odds, the proud Greek nation resisted the Axis power, delayed their advance, and ultimately changed the tide of the war.  This special day pays tribute to a very special nation with a very special group of individuals during a period of time many have either knowingly or unknowingly chosen to forget.

 

My first article on the OHI Day was written 11 years ago, and what I had to say then still applies today.  Here is that unedited article.

 

“I was baptized Elias Theodorakos since it is the Greek custom to name the first son after the paternal Papou (grandfather).  Within a few years, the name Elias (our first grandson is named Elias) was displaced by Louis, its American counterpart.  In second grade, my immigrant parents were told by several public school teachers that it would be in the best interest of the family to Americanize the last name.  The name was soon legally changed to Theodore.  Although I am an American first I remain proud of my Hellenic roots. And, it is for this reason that this short piece was written.

 

The media, novels, movies, television (particularly the History Channel), documentaries, etc., have done a superb job of educating the younger genera­tion about the background and struggles of World War II.  The battle for Britain and the defense of Stalingrad are two examples that come to mind, as well as the continuing, repetitive and perhaps overdone coverage of the horrors of the holocaust. But there has been little to nothing about the role Greece played on the events and final outcome of the war.

 

On to the theme of this article.  The 65th anniversary of the repulsion of fascist forces by the Greek Armed Forces was recently celebrated several weeks ago on October 28.  (The day came and went without a whimper here in the United States.)  The Greeks refer to this as the OHI (no!) Day.  OHI was Prime Minister Metaxas’s response to Hitler’s order to peacefully surrender.  What followed Metaxas’s response to Hitler was 219 days of fierce battles.  That in turn was followed by intense guerrilla warfare that resulted in a bru­tal occupation that included executions, sufferings, famine, and severe infla­tion.  The rest is now history for some people and all Greeks.

 

For comparison purposes, the days of resistance of the various combatants to the Nazi-Fascist invasion are listed below:

 

  1. Belgium                             18
  2. Czechoslovakia                 0
  3. Denmark                             0
  4. France                                43 (the supposed superpower of that time)
  5. Greece                              219 (13,696 Greek soldiers died)
  6. Luxembourg                       0
  7. Norway                                 7
  8. Poland                                 30
  9. The Netherlands                4
  10. Yugoslavia                            3

 

The total number of human losses in percentage of total population are also listed below.

 

  1. Belgium                                 5%
  2. France                                    0%
  3. Greece                                    0%  (750,000)
  4. Poland                                    8%
  5. Soviet Union                         8%
  6. The Netherlands                  2%
  7. Yugoslavia                              7%

 

Here is what some of the more important players of that time had to say (citations available on request) about the heroic Greek accomplishments against the armies of not only Germany but also the armies of Italy, Bulgaria and Albania.

 

Adolph Hitler: “As a matter of historical truth, I must ascertain that only the Hellenes, of all the adversaries that confronted me, fought with daring courage and the highest disregard to death… ”

 

Sir Robert Anthony Eden: “Regardless what historians will say in the future, what we can say now is that Hellas gave a memorable lesson to Mussolini, that she was the reason of the resistance in Yugoslavia, that she kept the Germans on the soil of Ipiros and Crete for 6 weeks, that she changed the chronological order of all of the German Major Generals’ plans and, thus, brought about a general alteration in the entire war’s journey and we won.”

 

Sir Winston Churchill: “The word heroism, I’m afraid, does not reflect in the least the Hellenes’ acts of self-sacrifice that were the defining factor of the victorious ending of all the nations’ common struggle during the 2nd WW for human freedom and dignity.”

“If it were not for the bravery of the Hellenes and their courageous hearts, the ending of the 2nd WW would not have been clear.”

“Until now we were saying that Hellenes fight like heroes. Now we will say: Heroes fight like Hellenes.”

‘The Hellenes” in fighting against the common enemy will share with us in the prosperity of peace.”

 

Charles DeGaulle: “I fail to give the most needed gratitude that I feel for the heroic resistance of the people and the leaders of Hellas.”

 

Maurice Schumann (French Minister of Foreign Affairs): “Hellas is the symbol of martyric, enslaved, bleeding, but live Europe.  Never has a defeat been so honorable for those who underwent it.”

 

Josef Stalin: “I’m sad because I’m getting old and I will not live much longer to express my gratitude to the Hellenic people whose resistance deter­mined the 2nd WW.”

 

Moscow Radio Station: “You fought without weapons and you won, being small before the great ones. We owe you gratitude, because you bought time and, thus, we could arm ourselves. As Russians and as fellow humans, we thank you.”

 

Georgy Joucov (Marshall of the Soviet Army): “If the Russian people man­aged to raise resistance before the gates of Moscow, to contain and reverse the German hurricane, they owe it to the Hellenic people who delayed the German divisions that could have beaten us. The gigantic battle of Crete was the peak of the Hellenic contribution.”

 

Benito Mousolini (Prime Minister of Italy): “… the war in Greece proved that anything can be shattered, with respect to the military, and that sur­prises always await us.”

 

King George VI (Great Britain): “The great struggle of Hellas was the first big detour for the 2nd WW.”

 

Sir Harold Alexander (British Marshall): “It would not be an exaggeration to say that Hellas overturned all the German plans forcing Germany to delay for 6 weeks its attack on Russia. We ask ourselves what would have been the position of the Soviet Union without Hellas.”

 

Franklin Roosevelt: “For Hellas there was granted a delay of 3 hours on the 28th of October 1940 so that she can decide on war or peace, but, even if a delay of 3 days or 3 weeks or 3 years was granted, the answer would have been the same.”

“The Hellenes have taught dignity throughout the centuries (history). When the entire world had lost all hope, the Hellenic people dared to doubt the German monster’s invincibility fighting back with the proud spirit of freedom.”

“The heroic struggle of the Hellenic people against the German attack, having so thunderously won the Italian attempt to invade the Hellenic soil, filled the American hearts with enthusiasm and won their sympathy.  A cen­tury and a half earlier during the war of independence, our nation expressed its fiery sympathy for the Hellenes and was hoping for the Hellenic victory.”

 

OHI day serves as another tribute to all Greeks, including Greek-Americans. Following the War of Independence in 1812 when the brutal uncivilized Turks were defeated, the immigration of Greeks to America began in earnest.  (The Turks had pillaged, looted, persecuted, and enslaved the Greeks for four centuries)  Nearly one tenth of the total population – including my parents – immi­grated to our country during the period 1821-1934.

 

Through it all, Greece has remained the fountainhead of culture and democracy throughout the free world. Despite lacking the political and media clout of other ethnic groups, Greek-Americans have evolved into a suc­cess story that has become a best-kept secret. They have contributed might­ily to our great nation. They rank second only to the American Jews in per capita wealth but first in percent who have earned doctoral degrees.

 

Yep, I still get that special feeling when someone refers to me as a Greek-American.

 

Note: Thanks are due my first cousins Helen Lake Anton and Harry Lake, aka Apostolakos, for providing some of the background material for this arti­cle. Helen was stationed in Greece during part of her C1A career Harry serves on the National Board of Directors and is Finance Chairman of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association).”

 

 

POSTSCRIPT:  The heroism of Greek fighters during WWII is legendary and is often cited in OHI Day celebrations.  What receives less attention outside of Greece, however, is the fact that Greek women themselves often joined the fight in ways that give testament to the strength of Greek women through history.  The Washington OXI Day Foundation aims to remind the world of that bravery.  Each year, their Battle of Crete award “honor(s) a woman for courageous action for freedom and democracy, in memory of the role women played against the Axis Forces in the Battle of Crete in World War II.”  In reprisal for their bravery: in battle; in hiding and caring for wounded fighters; in smuggling arms and messages when they knew that discovery meant certain death; nearly 1,000 Cretan women were killed by the Nazis, and the London Times reported that an additional 500 women were deported to Germany for taking part in the defense of their island.  Even with their lives and freedom at risk, the women of Crete demonstrated bravery and commitment to the cause of freedom and democracy.  Their actions will hopefully inspire generations of women to come.  It was also reported that when every man was needed for fighting, Greek women brought supplies and ammunition up the mountainsides – 80 pound packs on their backs up 3,000 foot peaks.  Let there be no mistake – beyond their skills and assistance on the field – the mere survival of these women during the war was a feat in and of itself.

 

The Washington OXI Day Foundation video provides a powerful and inspirational tribute both commemorating the day and inspiring all to be a courageous society and virtuous during times of crisis.

 

The link: http://www.oxidayfoundatino.org/video-world-leaders-praise-greek-courage/

 

Enjoy this great moment in history.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page @ Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

NOVEMBER 1:         On “THE” Election

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             One Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIV

 

 


ON INCOME INEQUALITY II: PROVIDING A CURE FOR INCOME INEQUITY (PART I: REVIEWING THE INEQUALITY PROBLEM APPEARED EARLIER ON JULY 1ST)

August 1, 2016

 

 

August 1, 2016

 

Most governments do not know how to spend capital wisely because they do not understand or consider basic economics.  They treat money as something in a budget to be spent.  There is no consideration whether the expenditure will generate a return of the capital spent.  Even if there were such consideration, there is no mechanism to measure performance or punish incompetence. There are benefits to society if government is small but a lot of downside if government just keeps growing larger and larger.

 

The primary reason for a government to exist is to provide law and order, defense of the country, regulations to insure public safety, regulations for suitable use of land and the environment, a stable currency, and an infrastructure for the common good.  If government limited itself to these responsibilities, then the tax burden on those who work would be quite low. However, most governments go way beyond this primary purpose.

 

Taxation eats away the capital able for job creation and eats away at the spending power of the population.  There are two other options available to governments to operate instead of more taxation.  One is to borrow money.  The second is to inflate the currency and eventually devaluate it.  This is the mode of operation for many governments of the world. But borrowing is very risky because an economic downturn jeopardizes the ability to pay money back and inflation can rapidly increase interest costs which also make it harder to pay money back. Bankruptcy is another solution when there is too much debt but this is terribly painful as many countries have found out.  The United States is a late joiner to this club but it is already seeing much of its capital wasted by uneconomic projects and concepts.

 

The fundamental problem of socialistic government is that there is no desire by those in control to be governed by basic economics.  Money is spent for causes, i.e., reduce poverty, provide welfare, provide pensions, provide medical care, provide jobs, etc. But monies spent for so-called “good causes” usually are not effective because the fundamental cause of the problem is not addressed or solved. The usual result is that problems get worse, not better. Much government money is spent to buy votes and to reward friends and vested groups.

 

There are two ways to reduce income inequality between those who are rich and those who are poor. One way is by wealth transfer. This means taking money from those who have money and giving it to those who have little. This may sound like a noble and wise thing to do on behalf of poorer people but it doesn’t work well. It doesn’t make the poor richer for very long. Instead, everyone becomes poorer except for the elite in government who control the wealth transfer.  The wise thing to do is to create a mechanism whereby everyone who can and wants to work can get a good job (i.e., one that is productive and contributes to capital generation) at a living wage. Almost all good jobs come from the private sector from businesses that make a profit. Of course, some jobs in government are essential for it to carry out its key responsibilities. But “make work” jobs and those created by unnecessary regulations destroy capital and lead to a failing economy; they are not a solution to reducing inequality.

 

If creating jobs in the private sector is the key to reducing inequality, then it behooves us to find ways to maximize the number of people employed in the private sector.  Here are some suggestions.

 

The first priority should be to help young people. If young people are to succeed and lead productive lives, they must have basic skills and have a positive attitude and behavior so they will be worth hiring.  But government must also decrease the costs they impose upon businesses and employees that make it too costly to hire young people and pay them a livable wage.  How can this be done? Suppose that up through age 28, young people would have no deductions from their pay stubs: no tax withholding, no deductions from pay for Social Security or medical insurance. They could take home all that they earn which would help them to get a place to live, pay off debts and to begin thinking about having a family one day. The government would not lose too much revenue because new hires have low salaries. The loss in revenue to government would be quickly made up once the young people are over 28. Then they will begin to pay taxes and have deductions but they will be paid more because they will have gained experience and be of more value to their employer.

 

The second priority must be for government to reduce the cost to businesses for hiring, training and maintaining a young person on the payroll. Remember that every business has to work hard to be profitable. So businesses are very concerned whether a new employee will add to profitability or take away from profitability. Every cost that government adds to a business for paper work, regulations, benefits, litigation, penalties, etc., adds to the cost of having an employee on their payroll and their ability to contribute to profitability. This is especially problematical for a new employee because they have the fewest skills and ability to contribute to profitability.  When government or other factors, such as unions, add too much to the cost to having an employee, businesses turn to automation so they can use machines rather than people. If they don’t, other countries with lower costs will take away the business.

 

The third priority is that government payments to individuals not working must be significantly less (not just less) than what one could earn by working. What is the incentive for a young person to learn a skill or be industrious or responsible if he or she knows they can scheme to get the government to give them more money than they could earn by working at a job?

 

The more people there are who are creating a useful product or service, the better off the society will be.  The more people not working or creating something useful, the poorer is the quality of life in a society. Why are some cities so decrepit and full of crime? Because there are not enough people there doing useful work and creating capital for investment. Instead, too many people in these decrepit cities are skilled at destroying what has been created by others.

 

There is an axiom that every person should understand. It explains where wealth comes from. The wealth and the creation of capital for investment by a society is generated from the sum of each individual’s creation of a useful product or service.  In other words, people who work and do something useful, create a society’s wealth. People who do not produce something useful, consume society’s wealth.

 

A forth priority is that taxes on business profits should be eliminated because this tax directly destroys capital, increases the cost of products that people buy and increases the cost of having workers on the payroll. What do taxes on profits of a business do? Do they make the business more responsible? Probably not. Do they reduce high salaries of the top executives?  Probably not. Do they increase the amount of money businesses spend on lobbying Congress.  Definitely yes. Does it increase the cost of products.  Definitely yes. Does it increase the pressure on a business to cut costs unmercifully to try to maintain profitability? Definitely yes. The ultimate payer of taxes on businesses is the consumer. They pay the tax in the form of higher prices. Politicians try to keep taxes hidden from those who really pay them because you, the consumer, really pay them in the form of higher costs. When I was a boy, a postage stamp cost 3 cents and a loaf of bread was 15 cents. Today costs are 15 to 20 times higher. A major part of this increase is due to business taxation, excess paper work and the extensive printing of new money (another form of taxation).

 

Consumers are led to believe that taxing businesses is a way to shift a tax burden from them to someone else. They are wrong. They are paying the tax anyway. On the other hand, when taxes on business profits are reduced or eliminated, then it becomes easier to pay higher wages to employees and keep product prices from rising. It is a way to reduce income inequality and raise the quality of life for the poorest.

 

Everyone knows that it is desirable in a society for people to find jobs that will provide them enough income so they can survive, raise a family and have a good quality of life.  We often heat politicians claim that they can create jobs. But this raises a key principle. “Creating a job is simple but creating a “good” job is difficult”. What is the distinction?  Once again, a “good” job is one that produces something of value and service or a useful product.  It must be something that someone is willing to pay for. But there is a caveat. If a wage for a job is more than the value it creates, then the cost for a business will rise. The business must then increase its prices or else it will be harmed. If we agree that it is desirable to create “good” jobs, then it means that the more wages that an employee can keep will help the employee and the more skills the employee; and, has makes him more valuable.

 

Bottom line:  A job that is created for the sake of a job but which creates nothing useful but waste and “red tape” hurts everyone but mostly the poor and the young.

 

Politicians use charisma and promises to get you to vote them into power. Some are ethical and honest but many use the communistic “Saul Alinsky” campaign strategy which is to lie like crazy and castigate your opponent unmercifully. These unethical candidates usually promise lower income voters all kinds of freebies and benefits. They may look like a good deal for these voters but the reality is that most of these freebies are so-called Ponzi schemes. This is a scheme where the initial recipients get something good but then the money runs out.

 

It is time to recognize that economics counts when it comes to reducing income inequality.  The poor are not going to be helped in the long term by government spending which wastes capital. The poor will be helped by understanding that capital must be spent wisely to create good jobs and by making it easier for businesses to make a profit and hire the young.

 

I close with a comment on income redistribution.  Unfortunately, income redistribution is an employed strategy for cultivating the favor of large blocks of voters.  In this manner, voters maintain loyalty to those who promise to take from Wall Street and the “evil rich” to support the government.  Since voters with lower incomes have the incentive to vote for higher taxes on the wealthy.  The end result is a smaller tax base that supports a financial burden that increases exponentially with time.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page @ Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the Nesmith Basketball Hall of Fame

OCTOBER 1:             On the OHI Day IV

NOVEMBER 1:         On “THE” Election

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             One Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIV

 


On Income Inequity

June 30, 2016

July 1, 2016

 I.  Reviewing the Inequity Problem

 For the past 40 years (WOW!), our family regularly vacations for a week in or around the Easter break at the fabulous Sandcastle Hotel in Sarasota.  During this period, I always make time to visit with my fraternity brother and fellow Cooper Union graduate (chemical engineering) Dick Graven.  Dick had a long and successful career at Mobil, ultimately rising to become Head of all engineering.  Last year, Dick, a prolific writer, penned an article titled “A Cure for Inequity.”

Dick has provided me with permission to use part or all of his article, and after some deliberation, I have decided to provide the readers with an edited 2-part series for the AS I SEE IT Newsletter.   The edited versions are titled “Reviewing the Inequity Problem” and “Providing a Cure for Income Inequity.” This article addresses the first topic.

************

The magic formula for a society to escape poverty is when money flowing from a successful business in the form of profits and employee wages finds its way to start or expand other businesses which also become successful.  In other words, businesses that are profitable create capital for investment.  Profit is the engine that energizes the process.  Profit is like a good virus.  It spreads far and wide to industrialize a society so that it generates jobs, salaries and more profits.  That is what happened in the United States since its founding and it is why it is such an industrial powerhouse.

Communism was once the ultimate political system to accomplish wealth transfer.  It proposed to do this through government control of all the means of producing goods.  Private ownership was eliminated.  All land and all businesses would become the property of government.  All of industry and farming would be controlled by a centralized government through collectives and strict conformity.  Wages would be uniform based upon the communist principle of “each according to his ability, each according to his need”.  This meant that there was no reward for merit or hard work.  Dissent was not tolerated and was punished because “the end justifies the means”.  In others words troublemakers would be eliminated by death or internment because the cause of communism was so noble that any means to eliminate dissent was justified.  Profit was eliminated as a criteria for running any enterprise.  Production quotas were the substitute for the concept of profits.

Propaganda and control of information is an essential weapon of communism.  This political system takes every opportunity to demean free enterprise societies and the concept of profits and/or the wise use of capital.  It is particularly adept at infiltrating education systems to corrupt young minds toward radicalism and class warfare.  Lying and twisting the truth is a common weapon, once again, because “the end justifies the means”.  Sadly, once a communistic society is established, it is almost impossible to return to a free society.  Those in control have a secret police, an army, and a sophisticated propaganda system.  Whenever insurrection brews, it is put down forcibly and life returns to a government controlled environment.  Since capital is always in short supply there is little priority for “doing things right” or improving the environment, preserving the planet, or conserving energy.  The shortage of capital is aggravated by the need to inflate the monetary system to pay off debt.  That, of course, hurts anyone who relies on savings.

It took 75 years before the available capital of the Soviet Union was used up.  The country went bankrupt in 1991.  Russia is the biggest remnant of the Soviet Union and it survives as a police state and a capitalist oligarch.  Profit is still an unappreciated term there and worker productivity and product quality is very poor.  There is no significant competition to give the customer a choice and insure the wise use of capital.  Capital growth and domestic product growth are also very poor.  However, the leaders and the elite of a communist state live very well indeed, even when their people are starving.

A word about China.  The first 40 years of this country under strict communism were a disaster for the people of China.  Tens of millions died due to starvation or persecution.  Now China is more enlightened.  It does permit some private ownership and some free enterprise industries.  Also, the Chinese are hardworking and many are very well educated and skilled.  Still, it is a police state controlled by a privileged elite that often spends capital recklessly and unwisely.  They could face very severe economic problems in the future.

Socialism is a less militant form of Communism.  This political system now recognizes that government run businesses are not a solution to create prosperity so instead it relies on massive government and massive control of free market businesses.  Socialist governments are very large and very inefficient.  They consume a great deal of the wealth of a country.  As per Greece, and to lesser extent in the United States, government workers are seldom fired for incompetency and it is difficult to reward merit.  There is little accountability for misspending, projects that go awry, and gross inefficiency.  Pensions and benefits are very generous.  As a result, taxes are very high.  The goal of socialism is to maximize social benefits to its citizens while giving power and benefits to its elite and its bureaucracy.  Helping businesses to be profitable or using capital wisely is not a priority of socialism.  Instead, tax rates on businesses and individuals are often so high as to be confiscatory, and raising taxes further makes the economy falter and does not generate additional government revenue.  The expansion of social benefits can become so great that socialistic societies often must borrow vast sums of money because government revenues from taxation are insufficient.  This created debt eventually leads to bankruptcy, currency devaluation, and poverty for its people.

Communism and socialism fail because they do not appreciate the importance of capital and the essential need to use it wisely.  Most people today are unaware of this fact.  A society that wastes too much of its capital with no way to replenish it will eventually fail.  Borrowing money may keep it going for a while but eventually debt will get so high that the day of reckoning comes and the country goes bankrupt.  Where is there proof of this statement that wasting capital leads to the demise of a society?  The proof is all around us.  It is demonstrated by the failure of societies which have taken available capital and spent it as if it were free money with no consequences as to how it is spent.  Consider the poverty of Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela and other heavily socialistic countries.  Capital in these countries is just something to be squandered.  Greece has done the same thing and its people are now facing unpleasant remedies and difficult times.

Communist and excessively socialistic countries demonize free societies that are concerned about sustaining capital and profits.  They do so because societies that do appreciate the importance of capital and profit, such as South Korea and Singapore, make communistic and socialistic societies look very bad by contrast.

In the United States we have been conditioned by the media and leftist propagandists to react to the words capital and profit as something bad.  The media often needs a bad guy in their stories so who can they choose?  It is not politically correct to choose a nationality or a race or a country or a religion or an “ism”.  So why not make business people into the bad guys who want to destroy the world.  How many business people do you know that actually have tried to destroy the world? None that I can think of.  However, I know of many dictators and nations that have tried to conquer others.  I know of many businesses that were destroyed by governments but I know of no governments that were destroyed by businesses.  The idea that all businessmen are just greedy souls trying to make outrageous profits is absolutely wrong.  Any successful business knows that it must act in the interests of its customers first – otherwise, it soon will not have customers.  This not true of government.  Government is a monopoly.  They don’t have to be nice to customers because their customers have nowhere else to go.  It is true that businesses can also misuse and divert capital and profit.  But this abuse can be and should be controlled.  The big problem is that governments are the major misusers of the capital derived from profits.  Meanwhile, the media keeps condemning businesses as the source of the problem.

There are many other things that are needed for success.  Here is one of the most important things that people must realize is that no society can elevate itself from poverty unless capital for investment is treasured, valued and used wisely.  It is only investing capital wisely that a society can create the products and services that are vital for creating a civilized, high standard of living society.  Obviously, just having capital available to start or expand a business is not all that is needed to make a business profitable.  There are so many other things that are needed for success.  Here are some of the most important:

  • There must be adequate numbers of people willing to work and they must have skills and knowledge that are useful and appropriate.
  • There must be law and order, plus honesty and truth.
  • Money must have a stable value.
  • There must be an incentive to work rather than not to work.
  • Innovation, creativity and efficiency must be encouraged.
  • Government must not stifle business through excessive taxation and/or regulations, or siphon off business capital funds by intimidation, bribery or confiscation.
  • Government must provide or allow adequate infrastructure so businesses can function efficiently.

These attributes of a society do not occur by chance.  Society must be made aware that these items are important if inequity is to be addressed.  It is up to parents, schools, government, religions, media and all leaders to teach that these are the attributes that create a successful society.

Visit the author at:

http://www.theodorenewsletter.com or on Facebook at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

AUGUST 1:                Providing a Cure for Income Inequity II

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the Nesmith Basketball Hall of Fame

OCTOBER 1:             On the OHI Day IV

NOVEMBER 1:         On “THE” Election

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             One Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIV

 


ON BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA V

May 31, 2016

 

June 1, 2016

 

As the winds of war were approaching a Category 5 hurricane during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, there were two political camps in our nation:  one favored isolation and the other was anti-isolation.  The isolationists either refused to believe or ignored the atrocities being committed by the Nazis against Jews, Poles, and (soon after) the Russians, and the Japanese against the Koreans, Chinese, and other southeastern Asian people.  It is now widely accepted that this ideology led to the death and suffering of millions of innocent people; earlier intervention could have unquestionably prevented this.  The isolationists chose to look the other way for fear of shedding American blood on foreign soil.  Joining these isolationists was England’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.  However, former Secretary of State Henry Stimson detested the isolationists.  He warned that “lawlessness in the international order did not confine itself to a few spots; if not contained, like fire, it sparked and flared outward until it burned everything around it.”  Few were ready to heed his warning.

 

What subsequently occurred is now history, and it is Winston Churchill (my hands-down selection for Man of the 20th Century) that we now have to thank for both our survival and current way of life.  Keep in mind that we, as a nation, have a past history of ignoring danger, of underestimating evil forces, and of lacking discipline and resolve.

 

When growing up, I was told in school that we can learn a lot from history.  Have our current leaders learned anything from history?  You be the judge.  But, I believe Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) is the second coming of Neville Chamberlain.  Thanks to BHO, with his reckless and insane policies, the world today is fast approaching the equivalent of WWIII.  At a minimum, this supposed man of peace has wrought devastation on the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  Some people simply can’t handle certain jobs.  BHO is one such individual.  One can only hope that his conduct and actions will be corrected in the very near future.

 

But there is more, and that is what this 5th article on BHO is all about.  It seems that anything this guy touches or gets involved with either goes wrong or turns out to be a disaster.  The guy is absolutely uncanny.  And yes, for those who faithfully read this newsletter, there were the 7 articles in 2009-10 detailing that BHO is (1) dumb; (2) lazy; (3) un-American, (4) corrupt; (5) lying; (6) racist; (7) egomaniac; and, believe I could prove in a court of law that (1) – (7) were in fact true.

 

Did I mention that there is more?  Here are some notes from my BHO files since the BHO IV article last year.

 

  1. Bergdahl debacle;
  2. Left equipment in Iraq;
  3. Returned troops to Iraq;
  4. Joe Biden (talk about dumb people) claims victory in Iraq;
  5. ISIS continues to operate;
  6. ISIS continues to expand;
  7. Requires political correctness in military;
  8. Many military feel a sense of betrayal;
  9. Many can’t understand how some serve in the military with BHO at the helm;
  10. The “red line in the sand” comment refuses to go away;
  11. Turned the military into a social experiment;
  12. The dismantling of the military;
  13. Refused to take steps to stop Putin in the Ukraine;
  14. Refused to take steps to stop China in the China Sea;
  15. Signed a nuclear deal that will not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power;
  16. Provided Iran with 150 billion dollars on a no-strings-attached basis;
  17. Released Guantanimo inmates who reportedly later killed Americans;
  18. How can a supposed constitutional scholar refer to the 57 states?;
  19. How can a supposed constitutional scholar refer to the corps as corpse?;
  20. Continues to miss many daily meetings;
  21. Continues to ignore earlier Black Panther voting violations;
  22. Told O’Reilly there was “not a smidgen of evidence” concerning the IRS/Lois Lerner conduct;
  23. Maintains that health costs will be cheaper;
  24. Maintains you can keep your doctor;
  25. Palled around with the Castros;
  26. Played golf immediately after a recent massacre;
  27. Attended a basketball game after a recent massacre;
  28. Continues to divide our people;
  29. Refuses to condemn the Black Lives Matter conduct and has instead embraced them;
  30. Provided reduced sentences for convicted drug dealers;
  31. Supports sanctuary cities;
  32. Refused to support Kate’s Law;
  33. Opposed to all forms of firearms;
  34. Opposed to all forms of fracking;
  35. Blanket support of economically disastrous climate change policies;
  36. Supports regulations that are crippling small businesses;
  37. Supports regulations that are stifling jobs;
  38. Continues to ignore his rejection of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission report that he requested;
  39. His domestic policies will ultimately allow democracy and the constitution to be slain in the name of democracy and the constitution;
  40. There are problems for those who do not share BHO’s views; and,
  41. Continues to claim that relations with Israel have never been better.

 

Here is a bit more.  Although not totally a fan of Trump, he and O’Reilly have it right claiming the media is corrupt.  Here is an example of what we are fighting.  A recent New York Times article titled, “Eight Years after the Crash” noted that “unemployment is at 5 percent, deficits are down, and the Obama economy is growing”.  Of course unemployment is not at 5 percent, the deficit is approaching 20 trillion dollars, and despite capitalism – where downturns are almost immediately corrected – the economy is still stagnant.

 

My apologies if I’ve overdone it with BHO.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

JULY 1:                      On Financial Inequity I

AUGUST 1:                On Financial Inequity II

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the Nesmith Basketball Hall of Fame

OCTOBER 1:             On the OHI Day IV

NOVEMBER 1:         On “THE” Election

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             One Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIV

 


ON THE EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE

April 30, 2016

 

East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception.  Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget.  Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider voting NO on the budget.  Why?  Two reasons come to mind:  (A) Waste and (B) Senior Citizen Exploitation.

 

A comment for each of the above two concerns.

  1. Waste.  Here are the facts as best as I can ascertain.  (The District has a long-standing policy of ignoring FOIL requests.)  The annual per capita student cost is approaching $35,000.  The student teacher ratio is below 10:1.  There are over 21 secretaries!!  Teacher absenteeism remains a problem.  Add to this waste the failure of some students to attend the college/university of their choice, the lack of preparedness of some of the students for post-high school education, and the continued decline of the District’s national and local ranking.  Why has the waste situation worsened?  Once again, here are the facts.  When enrollment increased, the teachers and their union convinced their puppet Board and indifferent Superintendent that there was a need to hire more teachers and administrators (guidance counselors—they are still a joke, an assistant principal, etc.).  Now that enrollment has decreased, the add-on positions have either been retained or replaced . . . not eliminated.  No doubt some of you remember when Gordon argued for a 3rd secretary . . . and got one !*!?!
  2.  Senior Citizen Exploitation. Once again, here are the facts.  Senior citizens are required to pay for the education of students of other District members.  They are also required to pay for all additional accommodations provided these students.  In effect, they are paying for services they do not receive and have no say in the matter.  I believe this is borderline criminal.  Remember that despite the voting process seniors are in the minority and thus have no say in this matter.  Add to this is that the beneficiaries of this exploitation have refused to correct the injustice.

 

One could expand on both the above two issues but it would be a “waste” of time.  However, since I am often accused of complaining and not offering any remedies, I will now propose a solution to both problems.  So here goes.

 

  1. Waste.  Provide outside companies/individuals/consultants the opportunity to review the overall operation of the District from both an academic and financial perspective, and then provide recommendations on how to reduce/eliminate the waste.  The suggestions would be acted on only if approved by an omniscient individual/group (or the equivalent).  Half the savings of the first year would be provided to the reviewing entity.  Can you imagine the field day some of these efficiency experts would have?  Keep in mind that this was recommended earlier during the Kushner/Zatlin/Fiorello era (when the Board was really concerned about waste) and was naturally flatly rejected by the union.  Why?  They knew better than anyone about the rampant waste.  After all, eliminating waste is a win-win situation for parents, school children, and seniors.  Remember that the elimination of waste will improve the QUALITY OF EDUCATION and increase PROPERTY VALUES.
  2. Senior Citizen Exploitation: My recommendation here is not only relatively simple but also relatively harmless.  Reduce the school tax of all eligible senior citizens (≥65 years of age) by 10% the first year, 20% the second year, to 50% of the tax the fifth year.  Potential further reductions could be discussed following the 5th year of reductions.  I checked with the Village office and was informed that 15.5% of the taxpayers are senior citizens.  Thus, my proposed action on senior tax reduction would increase the school tax burden on “non-seniors” by approximately 1.5% each year.  Now, that doesn’t sound that unreasonable to me.  The problem is that it is sure to be unreasonable to “the exploiters.”

 

I also feel it necessary to provide the reader with an abbreviated review of the present state of the EWSD.

 

Elaine Kanas, Superintendent of Schools:  Successfully misrepresented herself during the interview process for the job of Superintendent.  Kamberg and his crew chose not to vet Kanas; however, four of us did their job.

 

Mark Kamberg, Board President:  I trust him as far as I could throw him.  Really.  This guy is not to be trusted.

 

Robert Fallarino, Board Vice President:  Betrayed some of his followers earlier when there was an attempt to correct the EWSD abuses/waste.

 

David Keefe, Board Trustee:  A career union hack who is there to only serve the union and his family.  Continues to represent the retired teachers and their union at the state level . . . an inexcusable conflict of interest that has been ignored.  According to my files on Keefe, I once confronted him about the duplicity . . . and he laughed at me.  Face it.  He is not concerned about the best interests of our community.

 

Barbara Stone, Board Trustee:  An absolute nonentity who knows about as much about education as my left toenail.

 

Leonard Hirsch, Board Trustee:  Where did he come from?  I’ve got nothing in my files on him.  Another Kamberg stooge?  Has he done anything to correct the abuses and reduce/eliminate the waste?

 

Sean Feeney, Wheatley Principal:  I believe he is one of the “principle” causes for the post-high school woes of some of our graduates and the District’s decline.

 

PTO:  An absolutely comical organization that has been successfully duped by the teachers and their union.  It continues to serve the best interests of the teachers’ union at the expense of both the school children and taxpayers.  I’m not aware of the PTO every questioning the waste and senior school tax exploitation . . . and I doubt they ever will.

 

 

What about the budget?  Here is my take on it.  I found myself aggravated and annoyed during a review of the budget.  They didn’t make it easy to find, there are numerous omissions, and it often didn’t make sense.  They would be run out of town if they were out in the business world.  In effect, I couldn’t figure out what they were doing and you can be certain that is the way they want it.  There was nothing on balances and reserve funds.  High school information (and for good reason) was particularly confusing.  Enrollment information was missing.  It appears 3 million dollars were not spent this year, leaving one to wonder why there is a tax increase.  There is a family and counseling science (!?I!) high school teacher being paid 91K; what the hell does this person do?  The aforementioned North Side Assistant Principal has been replaced by an Interim Assistant Principal.  There are now three (no longer one) psychologists—one at every school—costing 134K, 102K and 138K; one can only wonder what they do all day.  There is a substitute clerk (20K) for secretaries (I suppose); would you call for a substitute if your secretary was out?  If I could dig in more, there would certainly be more flagrant waste.

 

Is this not a sorry state of affairs?

 

No doubt many of the parents are aware that there is near universal agreement that the teachers’ unions are destroying education in our country.  Although it is worse elsewhere, Long Island school children have also suffered with the selfish abuses perpetrated by the unions.  Nowhere is that more true than in the EWSD where many of the school children have been deprived of the opportunity to achieve their true potential, primarily due to the programs at Wheatley.  The parents have Kanas, the Board, the union, the Wheatley principal, many of the teachers and (of course) the pitiful PTO to thank for this unfortunate state of affairs.

 

Here is a belated New Year’s resolution:  My hope is that responsible individuals in the education community will band together and start an organized campaign to awaken America to the abuses being perpetrated by the teachers’ unions and many of their members.  It would certainly help in the EWSD if parents/taxpayers wised up to the negative changes that have occurred in recent years; it was the Bergtraum/Israel era that started the EWSD’s decline.  And unfortunately, the present School Board/Administration/PTA troika are content to allow the exploitation of both the taxpayers and schoolchildren to continue; in effect, the EWSD is being run for the teachers, not anyone else.

 

Back to the above two recommendations:  Any chance either of the above two suggestions will be taken seriously and acted upon?  I guess you know the answer to this question.  That’s why it’s okay to vote NO on the budget on May 17th.  I would also issue a call to members of our District who are concerned about taxes, seniors, and (most importantly) schoolchildren to consider running for the Board in the future.  I hate to put it this way, but almost anybody would be better than what we have now.  And maybe—just maybe—the Board will stop ignoring complaints and listen to all members of our community; their confuse and/or ignore policies need to end.

 

P.S.      For Wheatley High School readers:  I attended a party this week for my student’s 25th anniversary of teaching at Manhattan College.  I kissed her on the cheek.  TWICE.  Now I’m waiting to see if any fines, penalties, or charges are going to be brought against me.

 

Visit the author on Facebook  at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

JUNE 1:                      On Barack Hussein Obama V

JULY 1:                      On Financial Inequity


ON HOFSTRA’S 2015-16 MEN’S BASKETBALL: A SUMMARY ANALYSIS

April 1, 2016

April 1, 2016

 

This is the third and last article on Hofstra’s 2015-16 Men’s Basketball team.  Here is a summary report of what took place this season and what to expect for the following year.

 

This was a banner year for the club.  The team basically featured a near dream offense that was unfortunately complemented with a porous defense.  There was the starting five that consisted of Rokas Gustys (C), Denton Koon (PF), Ameen Tanksley (SF), Brian Bernardi (#2), and Juan’ya Green (#1).  Rokas – who I refer to as “The Brute” – came into his own this season and probably should have been behind MVP Green for MVP honors.  Freshman Desure Buie had a decent season.  The club beat Florida State (neutral site), lost to South Carolina at the buzzer (neutral site), and beat St. Bonaventure (at Olean).   The club’s record, prior to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament: 22-8, 14-4.

 

I attended the CAA Tournament in Baltimore in early March where I was treated to 7 thrilling games over a 3-day span.  What a great vacation.  The tournament itself was the culminating event of the Hofstra season.  Without going into details, the team made it to the finals but lost to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) in overtime.  The general consensus of the media following the loss was that Hofstra suffered from “fatigue” and “was running on fumes” while the UNCW defense – particularly against the two Hofstra guards – contributed significantly to the loss.  The season ended with a thrilling but another heartbreaking 2-point loss in the NIT at George Washington; interestingly, GW then went on to decisively win the NIT championship at the Garden.

 

Here is what I had to say earlier in the season:  “This may be Hofstra’s year.  Then again, it may turn out not to be for a host of reasons.  At the top of the list is a porous defense, following by the lack of a backup center, the lack of a shot blocker, and the lack of a great defensive guard.  Furthermore, Coach Mihalich appears constrained by a 5-man rotation due to the loss of Malik Nichols, which could expand to six with the addition of Buie; this might spell disaster in a potential 3-day/3-game tournament in March.  I maintain that 35+ minute players in a high powered offense will unquestionably cheat on defense – and this problem needs to be addressed.”  No one will ever convince me that a 35-40 minute starter will play with the same intensity defensively as a sub who knows his playing time is limited to under 10-12 minutes.

 

Here is a comment from afar from two fans on this season.  Bob Hausner:  “The Pride lived up to expectations.  The CAA proved to be competitive and Hofstra was in the mix.  They came down to the wire and lost heartbreakers in the tournament final game and the NIT first round.  Their starting five was the equal of any other team in the CAA.  Green lived up to all preseason expectations.  Unfortunately, the loss of Nichols, the 6th man, was devastating and hurt the team.  The short bench resulted in their running out of gas in the last game.”  Ed Borenstein:  “As a former alumni and long-time Hofstra basketball fan, I was very excited that Hofstra finally won the CAA conference plus had the CAA player of the year in Jaun’ya Green.  Although it was disappointing that they lost the championship game in the CAA Tournament, they played hard and got into the NIT.  I’m looking forward to next year and have confidence that Joe will build on the progress they made.”

 

Next season?   Assuming Rokas and Buie will not transfer, the club should have a reasonable chance to again be in the hunt for top honors.  With only minimal improvement, I would expect Rokas to contend for MVP honors the next two years.  Three point specialist Bernardi should be set for another good season.  Buie is the wild card.  He could make the Hofstra faithful forget about the great guards of yesteryear – Speedy, Charles Jenkins, Moore, Green, etc.  He too could become part of the MVP picture during the next three years.  He should improve dramatically in the future but what I love most about this skinny impersonator for a basketball player is his great defense.  Remember what I stated in my book Basketball Coaching 101:    “In reality, defense has recently emerged as the name of the game.  The author has repeatedly told basketball aficionados that defense is 50% of the game.  And every individual has responded with something to the effect: “of course, I (or we) know that”.  But really?  Who believes them?  After all, from the first day a player is introduced to basketball, defense has almost always been an afterthought…  It is great guards that get a team to a championship game, but it is great defensive guards that win championships.  It is their ability to create havoc on the opponent’s offense that makes the difference.  Bottom line:  defense doesn’t get the credit it deserves in the role it can play in determining the outcome of a game.”

 

All in all, it should be another very good year, particularly if the team exceeds the minimum requisite defense DNA.

 

Here is a comment from afar from an avid fan on next year’s season (Bob Bernstein):  “This will obviously be a very difficult season with the loss of Green, Tanksley, Koon and Nichols.  But there is some good news: two notable additions are 6’8” Oceanside transfer (from Tufts) Hunter Sabety, and guard Deron Powers from Hampton College.  Notable returns, in addition to Rokas and Bernardi, are 6’10” Andre Walker and small forward Jamail Robinson.  There are a lot of positives.”
Here is some personal information on the three seniors as the spotlight dims and they ride off to a new way of life – perhaps never to be heard from again.

 

  1. Kenton Koon, the graduate transfer from Princeton University. I dubbed Kenton the most underrated player on the team, primarily because of his court savvy.  He was also the only player on the starting five who didn’t look for his shot.  He was my type of contributor – a true team player.

 

  1. We are all hoping that Green will be drafted (by the NBA) sometime in the coming months. He has a legitimate shot because of his great passing, excellent foul shooting, and tremendous court presence.  Shooting, speed, and defense may be questioned by some interested teams.  From a personal perspective, I would draft him because great one (#1) guards have always been close to my heart.  Perhaps Speedy Claxton can help.
  2. Ameen Tanksley probably hopes to make it in Europe and he has a reasonable shot to succeed. He had a great CAA Tournament.  The main problem is that he is a “tweener”, i.e., too small for a small forward (#3) and not possessing the qualities for a #2 guard.  But he is all heart and tough as nails.  His four years with Coach Mihalich is obviously a plus.

 

Baseball has arrived.   As my father often put it:  Let’s go Mets.  But it will be a while before this Hofstra basketball season leaves some of us.  But nonetheless, Coach Mihalich, his assistant coaches, Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway, and all the players need to be congratulated.  Thank you all for an exciting season.  It was also a memorable year in that Tom Yaeger, the CAA Commissioner since its inception 31 years ago, announced that he was retiring.   He and his wife plan to remain at their lake home in Virginia.  Congratulations, good luck and good health to Tom.

 

I close with a poetic executive summary of the 2015-16 season.  My thoughts often turn to the passage of time which, in turn, are reminders of sayings involving the orbiting of the sun that have withstood the test of time.  Here is a sampling.

 

Henry David Thoreau

Walden. I, Economy

To him whose elastic and vigorous thought

keeps pace with the sun

the day is a perpetual morning.

 

Minot Judson Savage

Things Not Done

There comes an hour of sadness

With the setting of the sun,

Not for the sins committed,

But the things I have not done.

 

Edward Young

Night Thoughts

Like our shadows,

Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.

 

How does the above relate to this narrative?  Darkness is now approaching for the two kids from Philly who provided two years of immense basketball talent as they prepare to ride off into the sunset, awaiting a new beginning.  But then, having stepped out of the darkness and experienced the early morning rays of light upon the darkened sky, Buie now awaits his day in the sun.  Perhaps Scarlett O’Hara (Vivian Leigh) said it best when the curtain descended on Margaret Mitchell’s classic “Gone with the Wind” “After all, tomorrow is another day.” (perhaps drawn from Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixode – tomorrow will be a new day?).

 Visit the author on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

MAY 1:                       On the 2016 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Barack Hussein Obama V

JULY 1:                      On Financial Inequity


ON PURELY CHASTE, PRISTINE AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXIII

February 27, 2016

 

This a unique one.  Rather than to provide 25-30 one-liners, I’ve decided to do something different for this 23rd edition of the “random” series.  This one contains a short paragraph on topics of interest to me.  Here is a dozen.

 

  1. The Hill. I open with Hillary Clinton.  Here is my description of the Clintons:  They are two thoroughly rotten human beings: lying, manipulating, deceiving, exploiting, etc. have become a way of life for both of them.  Her laugh and cackling are totally artificial.  Polls seen to indicate that young women voters are rejecting her.

 

  1. Hofstra Men’s Basketball (2015-16). This may be Hofstra’s year.  Then again, it may turn out not to be for a host of reasons.  At the top of the list is a porous defense, followed by the lack of a backup center, the lack of a shot blocker, and the lack of a great defensive guard.  Furthermore, Coach Mihalich appears committed to a five-man rotation due to the loss of Malik Nichols, which could expand to six with the addition of Buie; this might spell disaster in a potential three-day/three-game tournament in March.  I maintain that 35+ minute players in a high powered offense will unquestionably cheat on defense – and this problem needs to be addressed.  Nonetheless, it’s been a great year and they have a solid, exciting club.

 

  1. Basketball Coaching 101. My Basketball Coaching 101 (436-page) book is still out in the marketplace at either Amazon.com or createspace.com for $17.95.

 

  1. Society needs to come to grips with the reality that environmentalists and their supporters are probably the greatest threat to society.  They are a frightening group that is fanatical.  This group will do anything – lie, manipulate, deceive, etc. – to achieve its misguided goals, including saving Mother Earth from itself.  Most of my colleagues in the field and I have separated ourselves from these sickos.

 

  1. Global Warming. Environmentalists justify their conduct by arguing that over 90% of the technical community supports their position on global warming.  But nearly all of the 90% they refer to have vested interests in their being this catastrophic problem facing society.  If there is no problem, most of these so-called experts will be out of a job.  At a minimum, there will be no tenure, no promotions, no articles, no consulting, no books, no government grants and contracts, etc.  And, the environmental organizations that also support this scam will have greater difficulty in generating funding, donations, and government support.  Finally, nearly all my colleagues in this field do not support the environmentalists’ claims.

 

  1. Killeen’s Tavern. It has been 60 years since the birth of the Killeen’s Tavern basketball team.  The relentless passage of time has taken its toll on the group.  However, here is how Ron Roel described the Boys of Killeen’s in a feature Newsday front-page article (May 12, 2005) titled “Pivotal Friendships”:  “They teamed up 50 years ago on a tavern basketball squad and their connections still have bounce.  When the boys of Killeen’s Tavern gather to remember the times they spent as a tough and talented street basketball team decades ago, the rules are quickly evident, even to newcomers:  you’d better duck… From the moment you enter their company, the wisecracks whiz by, sometimes from unexpected quarters, like a behind-the-back pass.  But, by most standards, this team has shown remarkable resilience and continuity, meeting once or twice a year, socializing in smaller groups, attending the weddings of each other’s children, occasionally vacationing together, and watching TV sporting events like ‘March Madness.’  A number of the men have died.   And while most of the remaining team members still live in the metropolitan area, a few come from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina to attend the reunions.”

 

  1. Eli Manning. The New York Giants are toast.  There is no hope for the next season and any other season if Manning is quarterback.  He is definitely the most overrated and luckiest quarterback of all time.  Their only hope is to draft a quarterback and start anew.

 

  1. The Factor. It’s primarily the main non-sports show that I watch.  I don’t read papers.  I definitely don’t read The New York Times; the same applies to Newsday.  I don’t read magazines.  I don’t watch any news programs on TV.  I have come to intensely dislike Megan Kelly (Fox) who I earlier immediately described as a phony.  Bill O’Reilly’s (BOR) Factor is all I need for news.  Our nation should be grateful to BOR for providing, unlike most news sources, fair and balanced news coverage.  Nonetheless, I’m still annoyed that BOR has failed to acknowledge my dedication to him in one of my recent books.

 

  1. Great Eats. There have been several requests for a follow-up on an earlier article entitled “Great Eats.  It would not be feasible to address all the various ethnic restaurants but will limit it to Italian for this short paragraph.  The best pizza remains Vincent’s (Albertson).  For dinner, I recommend Angelina’s (Williston Park), Vincent’s Clam bar (Carle Place), and Umberto’s (off Lakeville Road in New Hyde Park).

 

  1. As noted some time back, people are now finally coming to grips with the corruption within the NCAA.  The recent findings of the phantom programs, inflated grades, no-show courses at the University of North Carolina for the past 20 years are just the tip of the iceberg.  Violations are popping up at nearly all the schools with major basketball and football programs.   The reality is that nearly all the programs (if not all) are cheating in some manner or form.  The only difference is the degree of cheating.

 

  1. Man of the Century? I have Obama in the running for Idiot, Boob, and Traitor of the Century.  I have Hill and Bill as the two most rotten individuals of the Century.  But the Man of the Century? Or is it woman? That has yet to be decided.

 

  1. Barack Hussein Obama. The reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain.  Where does one start? Or is it end?  I believe that a fair, intelligent, and objective individual – after examining all of BHO’s actions, policies, background, appointments, and comments – would have to conclude that he has served as a major liability to our great nation.  I just can’t see it any other way.   Has he knowingly and deliberately attempted to hurt us?  Perhaps Dick Cheney said it best:  “If you had somebody as president who wanted to take America down, who wanted to fundamentally weaken our position in the world and reduce our capacity to influence events, turn our back on allies and encourage our adversaries, it would look exactly like what Barack Obama’s doing.”

 

I’ll return in 8-10 months to the usual format with a couple of dozen one-liners.  Hopefully, they will engage (or perhaps enrage) the reader.

 

Visit the author  on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

APRIL 1:                    On the Basketball Hall of Fame

MAY 1:                       On the 2016 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Barack Hussein Obama V

JULY 1:                      On Financial Inequity


ON HOW TO WRITE A BOOK … AND PUBLISH IT!

January 31, 2016

To begin with, why would anyone want to write a book?  Well, it depends: is it a biography, autobiography, historical novel, technical work, workbook, how to get rich, a guide to starting a business (as several of my students are planning), a medical book, a basketball coaching book (as with my recent Basketball Coaching 101 work), etc….etc…?  The reason for writing and publishing a book will vary with the individual.  For most of us simple folk, it boils down to one or a combination of the following 10 factors:

 

  1. Ego
  2. Provide a written document for family
  3. Provide a written document for friends
  4. Make money
  5. Keep busy
  6. Attack the status quo
  7. Get retribution
  8. Waste time
  9. Waste money
  10. Express your opinion

Irrespective of the subject matter and your interests, the probability of getting a traditional house to publish your book is close to ZERO!!  Alas, there is hope.  Today, anyone can SELF PUBLISH…and at a cost as low as $150.  Yes, the number is correct.  Not $1,500.  Not $15,000.  But $150.

 

For me, the reasons for my 105 technical books were (1), (4) and (5).  For my BASKETBALL COACHING 101 book, it was (1), (2), (3), (5) and (10).

 

Back to the main theme of this article.  This is obviously a 2-part piece.  First, how does one write a book? And second, how does one publish the book?  Here is what I have to offer on each of these questions.

 

On to one of the main theses of this article:  how does one write a book?  You have to have a strategy (or plan) as you move forward towards publication…and this will vary for each of us.  Here is what I have drawn from my notes:

 

  1. Decide on a title.
  2. Prepare a Table of Contents.
  3. Write the Preface.
  4. Write the Introduction (optional).
  5. With reference to (2), set aside a folder for each chapter.
  6. Research material (where applicable) for each chapter and fill the folder with notes, references, written material, etc.
  7. For each chapter, decide on Section headings, e.g., Introduction, Early History, Recent History, . . . , References.
  8. Gather material for each Section.
  9. Write the first Section of the chapter.
  10. Following the procedure in (8), write the remaining Sections of the chapter.
  11. Following the procedure in (5) – (10), write the remaining chapters.
  12. Carefully edit the manuscript.
  13. Carefully proof the manuscript prior to submitting it for publication.

Confusing?  Contact me at www.theodorenewsletter.com and I’ll make every effort to get back to you.

 

I leave you with this very important piece of information.  Any government publication is in the public domain.  This means that you own it and may use it in any manner you deem fit.  You do not even have to reference it although the professional and ethical thing is to do so.  Naturally, anything you have written in the past also belongs to you.  You might also consider submitting your manuscript to the Copyright Office ($40), but I haven’t recently.  If you need help writing, proofing, editing, publishing, etc., your manuscript, I suggest contacting my editorial consultant,  Rita D’Aguino at:

 

RDAQ Publishing Consultants

(646) 418-6678 ©

rdaquino515@gmail.com

 

She has proven invaluable to me for several publications.

 

So, now you have written your book.  What’s left is to publish it.  As noted above, forget about a traditional publisher and instead self-publish which involves the Print on Demand (POD) approach.  That’s what I did with my Basketball Coaching 101 book and it was a terrific experience.  I would tell you about that experience but there is something better available.

 

I recently became reconnected – after nearly 60 years – with Neal Gillen, an old basketball nemesis from my coaching days.  Shockingly, Neal graduated from robbing cars at age 16 – to an immensely successful career in politics and business.  Although I can detail my experience in POD, here is what I recommend for prospective authors.  Neal very recently published a book on Amazon titled How to Publish Now.  His book (back cover) does the following:

 

DEMONSTRATES how to publish efficiently at minimal cost.

 

DEMONSTRATES how to properly prepare your manuscript for publication.

 

REVIEWS over 25 Print on Demand (POD) publishers that specialize in self-published books.

 

REVIEWS the services offered by these POD publishers.

 

COMPARES the costs and benefits of those services.

 

ALERTS you about the services to avoid.

 

SUGGESTS appropriate publishers for your book.

 

SHOWS how to utilize social media and the Internet to market your book beyond your personal universe.

 

Furthermore, here is his Table of Contents:

 

Chapter 1:       Introduction

 

Chapter 2:       The New Publishing Landscape

 

Chapter 3:       The Journey to Publication – Getting it Done

 

Chapter 4:       The Self-Publisher is a Publisher

 

Chapter 5:       Your Business Plan

 

Chapter 6:       Overseeing the Process – Preparing for Publication

 

Chapter 7:       From Manuscript to Book

 

Chapter 8:       Selecting a Publisher

 

Chapter 9:       The POD Publisher

 

Chapter 10:     What Do They Offer You?

 

Chapter 11:     Comparing the POD

Publishing Packages

 

Chapter 12:     Caveat Emptor on Marketing Services

 

Chapter 13:     The Factors That Will Determine Your Choice

 

Chapter 14:     Analyzing the Critical Cost Factors

 

Chapter 15:     Analysis of Potential Profit or Loss on Publishing, Purchasing and Selling

Of 100 Books From Selected Publishers

 

Chapter 16:     Decision Time

 

Chapter 17:     Marketing Your Book

 

I close with this.  If you are considering writing/publishing, Neal’s book is an absolute must…an absolutely terrific bargain at $10.95.  And believe me, you too can write and publish–trust me; it’s not that difficult.  If you need help here, I do suggest you contact Rita.

 

So there you have it.

 

Visit the author on Facebook at Basketball Coaching 101.

 

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

MARCH 1:       On Random Thoughts XXIII

APRIL 1:          On Financial Inequity

MAY 1:             On the 2016 East Williston School District Budget Vote